Wednesday, October 22, 2008

FoI: press freedom index 2008

File under: freedom of information

Reporters sans Frontières has today made available its 2008 ranking of countries w.r.t. press freedom; their finding that peace, more than economic stability, is guarantor of such freedom.

An excerpt:

“The post-9/11 world is now clearly drawn,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Destabilised and on the defensive, the leading democracies are gradually eroding the space for freedoms.


The ranking’s “soft underbelly” also includes countries that waver between repression and liberalisation, where the taboos are still inviolable and the press laws hark back to another era....

Online repression also exposes these tenacious taboos. In Egypt (146th), demonstrations launched online shook the capital and alarmed the government, which now regards every Internet user as a potential danger. The use of Internet filtering is growing by the year and the most repressive governments do not hesitate to jail bloggers. While China still leads the “Internet black hole” ranking worldwide, deploying considerable technical resources to control Internet users, Syria (159th) is the Middle-East champion in cyber-repression. Internet surveillance is so thorough there that even the least criticism posted online is sooner or later followed by arrest.

[Do read more...]

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